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Tours reveal Edmond's downtown history

The Edmond Historic Preservatioin Trust will offer another tour of downtown Edmond on Sept. 20.
By Steve Gust, For The Oklahoman Published: August 23, 2014

Members of the Edmond Historic Preservation Trust want more people to be able to appreciate the history of the city’s downtown buildings. Since May, they have led monthly tours starting at the Shadid & Schaus building at 19 N Broadway.

The tour costs $5, and funds will go toward buying plaques that tell the story of downtown.

The Shadid & Schaus building site was once a church and also the first location of what is now the University of Central Oklahoma. In 1891, it was known as the Central Normal School, and there was one teacher and 23 students.

The original building burned down from a stove fire in 1927. Apartments took over the site and eventually became rundown. Randel Shadid and Stephen Schaus restored the building in the early 1990s.

Lisa Truesdell, a preservation trust member, read from a guide book as August tour members went from one site to another.

The city was founded after the Land Run in 1889, but Edmond didn’t immediately have a big population. Truesdell said 150 people, mostly men, called the town home that night, compared to thousands in Oklahoma City.

Edmond had the first schoolhouse in the state, still on display on Second Street just east of Broadway. The first church, which is still in existence, is St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, now at Ninth and Boulevard. Edmond also had the first parks, first telephone system and first brick sidewalks in the state.

Carol Brooks has lived in Edmond for a long time but wanted to learn more. “I heard about this tour today and wanted to take it,” she said.

Occasionally, Truesdell would go off script, and she and Brooks would recall other aspects of downtown.

“Yes, this used to be where the town’s drag ended,” Brooks said.

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